ESV - 2 When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.
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The story shows us that love, faith and hope in God's power can redeem any relationship, but surrender of both parties to God's will must be achieved and become an absolute lifestyle for both. Both surrender of self will and obedience to God's will, and it's a demonstration of God's will to forgive and his willingness to answer a call for and a demonstration of mercy in your own life for others. The story is a demonstration of how his covenants with his people are an everlasting covenant and that he desires his people to honor their marriage covenant with the same zealousness as his love for us, which is demonstrated to us most of all by the witness of Jesus Christ in scripture. Mercy, love and hope are always God's first response, but his judgments must also be fulfilled, so we all must be judged. But God's grace trumps his judgment if his grace has been applied by the person being judged; then mercy reigns supreme over judgment.
While it is true that God's commanding Hosea to marry a prostitute was designed to help restore his wife, Israel (Jer. 3:), to him, it likely was also intended to be a lesson in grace--not only God's grace but also how every Christian aught to extend grace to the fallen. This would include the way a spouse is to be treated when he/she turns away, and especially how they should be treated when they seek to return. More than that, the lesson is one of love--showing how one should seek to bring back one who has turned away--even having committed adultery.
When God called Hosea to marry a "wife of whoredom" he was not commanding Hosea to break God's law and marry a prostitute. To say that God called Hosea to break his commandments by marrying a known prostitute would not only violate God's character but would also not be consistent with the message that God was try to convey to the nation. Israel did not start out as a thoroughly idolatrous nation, they descended into it one step at a time. Ezekiel 16 paints the same picture of God's people descending further and further into the sin of idolatry. God's purpose in Hosea's marriage to Gomer was to show the nation of Israel what they had done to God through their sin of idolatry. God had chosen them out of obscurity and placed his love upon them. Israel then began to slip more and more into the idolatrous practices of the nations around them. Hosea's calling to marry Gomer was to illustrate the nation's fall from obedience and favour to sin and judgement. Hosea married a woman who was faithful to him for a short time before she fell into adultery, bringing hurt and shame upon Hosea and bringing judgement on herself. Thank God that Hosea is also called to redeem Gomer, bring her back into his household and love her again, just as God did to the nation of Israel and to the church.
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